TV Ad Revenues Expected to Rise 11 Percent in 2008

A competitive political election environment is expected to boost television ad revenues by as much as 11 percent in 2008, according to BIAfn, a media and communications financial and strategic advisement firm.

TV ad revenues topped $22.2 billion in 2007, down 2 percent from revenues of $22.7 billion in 2006, the Chantilly, Va. based firm reported this week. In 2007, 294 stations were sold at an estimated $4.6 billion, compared to 202 sold in 2006 for a total of $18.1 billion (credited in large part to the sales of Univision and four NBC stations). The top station transaction in 2007 was News Corps' announced sale of eight TV stations to Oak Hill Capital Partners for $1.1 billion in several major markets. The second largest transaction of the year was Lincoln Financial Media's sales of three stations in Charlotte, NC, Richmond, VA and Charleston, SC to Raycom Media for $583 million.

"Despite the constant buzz of new media alternatives television will prove itself to be a hot medium in 2008. Not only because it's fail-safe but because it delivers viewers in a very targeted, local way," said Mark R. Fratrik, Ph.D., vice president, BIA Financial Network. "The national and statewide elections will reinforce the strength of the local television market, which is the only media that can provide mass audiences in an increasingly fragmented marketplace."

Political advertising, driven by Presidential, state, local and hotly competitive Congressional races in 12 states will be the main driver of TV ad revenues in 2008, BIAfn said.